Despite Google having made “significant concessions” in its eyes to the European Commission anti-trust regulatory agency, at least two commissioners are calling for more from the search engine. Politicians from France and Germany are demanding that Google add more to the package to allow for a more level playing field for European businesses, or scrap the proposal entirely and start from scratch. The tentative agreement between the search company and the regulator will see Google display the search results from competing services, among other proposals for promoting other companies, in order to put the three-year antitrust investigation to an end.
Google Inc. proposed settlement with European Union antitrust cops is under increasing threat of being revised or scrapped, amid calls to more tightly regulate the Web giant in the run up to European Parliament elections. Politicians from France and Germany have in recent days ramped up rhetoric against the settlement with Google, which aims to resolve accusations that the company abuses its dominance in online search to promote its own businesses. Germany’s economy minister said this week the deal should be improved. His French counterpart said last week that the European Commission—the bloc’s executive arm—should reject it as it stands. Behind closed doors, commission officials have suggested to opponents that some elements of the deal—in which Google has pledged to dedicate space for competitors atop its search results—could be revisited, according to people involved in the discussions. Google officials, for their part, have been holding similar meetings to press their case that their settlement is fair, and tougher than regulators might get by pressing formal antitrust charges, people familiar with those meetings said.